Two weeks ago my six month old son went for some tests to determine if his kidney was improving or getting worse. In case you have not heard, while he was still in Wiarda's womb they discovered a problem with his left kidney and ureter (the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder). It was nothing too alarming and apparently not an uncommon problem with boys. So they have been monitoring it since he was born as 90% of these cases tend to fix themselves over the course of their first year.
Well, two weeks ago we found out that was not going to be the case for our Caleb and he would need a couple of surgeries, one now to buy time and give some relief to the kidney and another in 12-18 months to finally correct the problem when he is older. So last week Wiarda and I found ourselves in a waiting room at McMaster hospital while a doctor was cutting into our boy.
The surgery was supposed to be an hour or so long, so you can imagine what was going through our minds when after two and a half hours there was still no word from the doctor. All kinds of thoughts begin to race through your mind. You try and tell yourself that it's just a simple procedure, but then the thought comes that even simple procedures can go wrong. I began to have thoughts about all the parents who have lost kids and began to wonder if I was about to join their ranks.
Fortunately, the doctor came out and explained that Caleb is fine and the reason for the long surgery is they found the problem, a blockage in the ureter, and were able to correct it. This meant that he would not require a second surgery and everything should begin to correct itself now. The problem was solved.
So the correct response as a Christian is..."Praise the Lord!" Which I have done because I see how Father used the doctor to heal my son.
But it got me thinking, what if something really bad did happen. Would I still want to praise Him? Scriptures teach us to praise Him in all things (Eph 5:20). Job tells us that we are to accept from Him both the good and adverse (Job 2:10). Could I really say praise God if I lost my son?
Now, let me be the first to tell you that I am very thankful that I didn't have to find out how I would have answered this question last week. Because although I know I would not have been praising Him for the death of my son, but for the fact that He gave me Caleb for six months and that God is still God, I wonder how hard it would have been to experience such a loss.
I then began to think about those who have found themselves in this or a similar situation. Those who have lost loved ones to illness or accident before they thought it was time. And I look to them and am encouraged by those who found Jesus to be sufficient in that time. I know it wasn't easy and there were, and still are, many sad days as they deal with their loss. But they have found Jesus as their comforter and that is encouraging to me as I deal with my (small by comparison) problems today.
Maybe that's why I like to hear their stories so much. One such story that I would like to share with you is of Horatio Spafford, the author of one of my favourite hymns, "It is Well with My Soul." Please click here and watch this short three and a half minute video that displays this encouraging faith and what led to him writing this powerful hymn of praise to our Father.
May Father reveal to you today how He is sufficient.
In Christ who is our Life,